Speaking at his inauguration, President Barack Obama made a speech which said “our journey is not complete” until equal rights for gay people is reached, and referred to the importance of the Stonewall riots in terms of moves towards equality.
Referring to women’s and voting rights movements, followed by the Stonewall riots of 1969, which were considered a major turning point in the gay rights movement, President Obama said it was the task of our generation to ensure that equality is reached.
“Our journey is not complete until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law – for if we are truly created equal, then surely the love we commit to one another must be equal as well. Our journey is not complete until no citizen is forced to wait for hours to exercise the right to vote,” he said.
“We, the people, declare today that the most evident of truths – that all of us are created equal – is the star that guides us still; just as it guided our forebears through Seneca Falls, and Selma, and Stonewall; just as it guided all those men and women, sung and unsung, who left footprints along this great Mall, to hear a preacher say that we cannot walk alone; to hear a King proclaim that our individual freedom is inextricably bound to the freedom of every soul on Earth,” he said.
“It is now our generation’s task to carry on what those pioneers began. For our journey is not complete until our wives, our mothers, and daughters can earn a living equal to their efforts.
The US constitution requires that the president be sworn in by 20 January, and so President Obama was sworn in at a private ceremony in the Blue Room, in the White House yesterday.
At the public inauguration today which hundreds of thousands were expected to attend, the pro-gay pastor of the Episcopal parish closest to the White House will give the benediction, as well as performances by singer Beyonce, a parade, and black tie balls.
A 10-year-old in the US was surprised to get a reply to a letter she sent to President Barack Obama. She had written to tell him that she appreciated his acceptance of the love between same-sex couples.